final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Leon County. William L.
Thomas, Public Defender, Archie F. Gardner and Glen P.
Gifford, Assistant Public Defenders, Tallahassee, for
Moody, Attorney General, Amanda D. Stokes, Assistant Attorney
General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
argues that the trial court erred when it excluded testimony
of a defense witness who was familiar with the victim's
unusual sexual conduct and advanced sexual knowledge.
Appellant was charged with one count of sexual battery on a
person less than twelve years of age by a person over
eighteen years of age.
victim testified that one night when Appellant was visiting
her mother, he stopped her in the hallway as she was going
into her brother's room. Appellant accompanied the victim
into her brother's room, made the victim get on top of
him, and had her perform oral sex.
trial, the victim's prior sexual knowledge and experience
was at issue. The victim admitted on direct examination and
cross examination that she had previously watched videos of
adults having sex. She testified that her sister watched sex
videos and that her uncle showed her sexual pictures on his
phone. She also testified that she had seen her mother have
defense proffered a witness who had prior experience
interviewing the victim. The State objected, arguing that the
prior examination of the victim was irrelevant because it
occurred three to four years before the present incident. The
witness testified that she became familiar with the victim as
the result of an investigation by the Department of Children
and Families. There were concerns with the victim rubbing
herself in a sexual manner and engaging in inappropriate
sexual behavior at school. The victim was able to describe
sexual scenes in videos and testified about
"humping" with two of her cousins. The witness
called the victim's familiarity with sexual activity very
surprising for her age.
trial court granted the State's motion to exclude the
defense witness's testimony. The court determined that
the information was remote in time and was irrelevant to the
current charge against the defendant. The jury found
Appellant guilty as charged and he was sentenced to life in
apply a deferential standard of review to a trial court's
ruling admitting or excluding evidence, unless the ruling was
based on an interpretation of a rule of law:
As a general rule, a trial court's ruling on the
admissibility of evidence will not be reversed, absent an
abuse of discretion. Globe v. State, 877 So.2d 663,
673 (Fla.2004); Russ v. State, 832 So.2d 901, 910
(Fla. 1st DCA 2002). However, a court's discretion is
limited by the evidence code and applicable case law. A
court's erroneous interpretation of these authorities is
subject to de novo review. Gilliam v.
Smart, 809 So.2d 905 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002).
McCray v. State, 919 So.2d 647, 649 (Fla. 1st DCA
90.401, Florida Statutes, defines relevant evidence as
"evidence tending to prove or disprove a material
fact." All relevant evidence is admissible, "except
as provided by law", unless probative value of the
evidence is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice,
confusion of issues, or "needless presentation of
cumulative evidence." Id.; § 90.403, Fla.
Stat. (2017). In determining whether the probative value is
outweighed by unfair prejudice, the court may consider the
need for the evidence; the tendency of the evidence to cause
a jury to improperly make a decision; the chain of inference
necessary to establish a material fact; and the effectiveness
of a limiting instruction. State v. McClain, ...